Our area of expertise is providing client-centered service to help people achieve employment or community attachment.

Open Door Group offers a wide selection of programs and services across British Columbia.

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Amira moved to Canada in the early 1990s as a result of the Gulf War. She had fled Iraq in hopes of a better life in Canada. When Amira started working in Vancouver, she found employment working with children. Over the past few years, she had worked in early child education, but was laid off after coming back from a maternity leave.  She was feeling anxious about her family´s financial sustainability, as her husband was working part-time and they have two young children to care for and her mother who had been diagnosed with cancer.  

Amira had always dreamt of working in the legal system and after being laid off, decided to complete a Paralegal certificate program at Vancouver Community College. She enjoyed the program, but aside from her practicum during her studies, Amira had no related experience to land a job as a paralegal. She also had no connections to access potential employers, outside of her contacts at VCC.

Amira had been searching for employment for several months, sending out countless resumes, with no response. Her EI had run out and the pressure of financial hardship was making Amira worried and frustrated.

Walking by the WorkBC Downtown Eastside Employment Services Centre, Amira decided to open the door and see what it was all about. She registered to attend a full orientation. After the orientation, Amira was connected to her Employment Advisor, who completed some assessments with her. Her employment barriers included no related work experience, time challenges due to lack of child care, no connections to suitable employers, and no current skills on effectively seeking employment in her new field. Her lack of finances also impacted her ability to get around and pay for child care.

Amira was able to renew her child subsidy application to extend care for her children while she was attending workshops at Open Door Group (WorkBC.) Her Employment Advisor started to introduce the concept of looking for work in the “hidden job market” and subsequently referred Amira to attend a series of workshops which included understanding the labour market, how to explore the hidden job market, resume writing and effective job search.

Amira´s Employment Advisor then connected her with Dress for Success, which was of great value to Amira in her professional job search.

Because of the lack of Amira´s connections, her Employment Advisor referred to job placement services by connecting her with a Job Developer. As she started getting connected with opportunities, both the Job Developer and Employment Advisor practiced mock interviews with Amira.  She also received job search supports through bus tickets to attend interviews and job search.

Open Door Group´s relationship with Impark, came in great value when they contacted the Job Developer, about filling a part-time paralegal position, to assist with drafting License Agreements, maintaining corporate records and annual filings, among other legal administrative duties. What a match!  Amira was hired in mid-October and continues to be happily employed.

Amira stays in contact with her Employment Advisor and says “Excellent quality of service! Very knowledgeable and resourceful staff. (I) recommend this service to anyone that wants to seek alternative methods to seek employment in the hidden job market! Keep up the excellence! Cannot wait to be in a position to give back to Open Door Group (WorkBC)!”



Tim lives in Kamloops and accessed Open Door Group in May 2012 to find employment. He is on Persons with Disabilities (PWD) benefits and felt that he needed additional income. As he had not been employed for a number of years, he wanted some assistance in his job search.

After attending an orientation session, Tim was connected with an Employment Advisor. The Employment Advisor and Tim discussed his past work experience and skills, identifying what assistance he needed to help him achieve his employment goals.

Tim was then referred to a Vocational Counsellor who helped him prepare for employment through a work simulation exercise.  He also completed a Personal Profile for Customized Employment and a Discovery Profile which helped to identify employers of interest and environment preferences.  The results showed that he excels in a kitchen environment, specifically with food preparation, and with his friendly and helpful personality, is willing to take on most tasks to help out.

In September 2012, Tim was referred to a Job Developer, eager to begin his job search. Together, Tim and the Job Developer developed a list of restaurants in which he would like to work.  “The Job Developer was so helpful and always asked me about the jobs she contacted” says Tim. “She gave me the freedom to make my own decisions as to where I wanted to work”.

Based on the Job Developer´s assessment of Tim´s needs, Tim attended the Resume and Cover Letter Workshop and used what he learned there to update his resume. He was also provided with Job Search Financial Support.

His improved resume landed him two interviews at restaurants, which he attended accompanied by the Job Developer. He exhibited great interview skills; he was friendly and confident.  

Then an opportunity to work as a dollar store clerk for a short period of time became available. With the assistance of the Job Developer, Tim was hired. This opportunity helped him to develop valuable skills in dealing with the public and co-workers as well as helping to build self-esteem.  
Although he originally preferred a restaurant environment, Tim enjoyed the job and was asked to stay on permanently.  

“Open Door Group staff gave me a boost when looking for work” he says. “I was depressed and had given up hope but they gave me confidence to keep trying”.

Tim is also attending Street School on a part-time basis with the goal of achieving his Dogwood Diploma.  His goal is to one day own his own business.

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